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As one of our majors at Illinois Wesleyan, you'll work closely with faculty who are inspired by your unique curiosity and interests. Our students enjoy the opportunity for hands-on laboratory research experience with faculty mentors.

Chemistry Major

All students intending to major in chemistry should consult with the department chair or their academic advisor. Provided that Chemistry 201 and 202 (General chemistry I and II) have been taken in one of the first two years, a student may elect to major in chemistry/ biochemistry as late as the end of the sophomore year. Students electing to minor in chemistry/biochemistry can often decide to do so as late as their senior year. A complete list of chemistry courses and descriptions is available. 

Biochemistry Major

Biochemistry offers understanding of the living world from the molecular level. With a common set of courses in the chemistry and biology departments, the biochemistry major also offers enough flexibility to focus on specific areas of interest – and the benefit of studying science in the context of a well-rounded, broad-based education. 

Putting Your Learning into Practice

Superior facilities and equipment    plus practical opportunities are part of the Illinois Wesleyan chemistry program. All of our equipment  is for hands-on student use.  The majority of our majors  pursue an independent research project on our campus, collaborating closely withal faculty member. Our students often have paid summer research positions at IWU or internships at national laboratories like Argonne, at large university research centers like the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and in pharmaceuticals companies such as Pfizer Inc. 

Your Professional Future

Graduates of our chemistry program pursue a number of exciting careers.  Our alumni include university professors, high school teachers, research chemists in the chemical industry, physicians and chemical patent lawyers. Whatever professional course you take, the education you receive at Illinois Wesleyan will prepare you to make an important contribution to the diverse and challenging field of chemistry.

The size of Illinois Wesleyan's Chemistry Department is one of its big advantages. Because we're relatively small, our students have the opportunity to work individually with faculty members. Because our students have the ability to talk in detail about the research they've done as undergraduates, they have a distinct edge when seeking admission to graduate schools or positions with industrial research firms.

Pre-Professional Science at IWU

As is the case in most universities, at Illinois Wesleyan you cannot major in pre-medicine, pre-dental, pre-veterinary medicine or pre-engineering. You should major in the field that you are the most interested in, being certain to complete the courses required by the particular pre-professional programs. For example, pre-health students will need two laboratory classes each in general biology, general physics, general chemistry and organic chemistry. Several successful pre medical students have majored in chemistry and participated in significant research within the department. To better help our students interested in pursuing professional programs we have a  dedicated pre-health advisor  who can offer guidance and resources so students can learn about a range of career paths and are knowledgeable about creating a competitive application.


There are several ways to enter into the field of engineering with a chemistry undergraduate degree. We offer many pathways to earn bachelor of engineering, for example our dual degree program. Another path is to obtain a Masters in Chemical Engineering in a short time as 1.5 years after graduation with a chemistry degree with us. For further information, contact Narendra Jaggi at or Gabe Spalding at

Chemistry  major accredited by the American Chemical Society.

American Chemical Society
1135 16th Street NW
Washington DC 20036

Courses are offered by the department to meet the needs of those majoring in chemistry or allied sciences by rigorous training in the principles and applications of modern chemistry. The department also aims to meet the needs of general education students who wish to learn and appreciate the atomic-molecular concept of matter as a background for understanding the scientific issues of importance to all in the modern world.

The department of chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society as offering a program of study which will lead to individual certification, upon graduation, by that society. Such a course of study will equip the chemistry major to (1) meet the entrance requirements for further studying chemistry graduate programs or medical or dental schools; or (2) enter governmental or industrial laboratories as a chemist. A major in chemistry can also lead to a wide variety of other occupations ranging from forensic laboratory science to chemical patent law to business management or to teaching.


Chemistry minor  and  Biochemistry minor